Selby Gardens hotly debated expansion plans rejected by Sarasota City Commissioners

Selby Gardens Expansion Rejected

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota City Commissioners shot down Selby Gardens proposed expansion plans to build a parking garage and rooftop restaurant by a three to two vote.

Another week, another large crowd debating proposed expansion plans for Selby Gardens in front of Sarasota City Commissioners. The popular attraction wanted to build a five-story parking garage and rooftop restaurant, among other additions. But the 92-million-dollar project was rejected late Tuesday night.

“It’s disappointing at the end, we gave it our all, we’ll go back and reevaluate,” said Lynn Bates with Selby Gardens.

Both sides had their voices heard last week and this week with more than 90 speakers. Those who support the plans wore green and those opposed to it wore yellow.

Opponents say this doesn’t fit with their neighborhood and would cause major traffic headaches. They also say Selby is attempting to change the city’s comprehensive plan, which has been in place for years.

“A great deal of relief, because I always believed that the law favored the neighborhood and favored us in opposing this massive development plan,” said Susan Chapman, a neighbor.

Commissioners needed to vote four to one in favor of this in order for it to move to the state for approval.

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